Every time you place a tile, you have the option of playing one of your 7 "meeples" on the tile you just played, claiming a road segment, city segment, field segment, or cloister (brothel, as the boys like to call them!). Once you’ve placed a follower, he stays there until the road, city, or cloister gets finished (if you place your follower on a field to "farm", he doesn’t leave until the end of the game). For every road, city, or cloister that gets finished, the follower on it earns points. Your goal is to get more points than your opponent(s).
This is one of the few strategy games that doesn’t feel like a strategy game. In fact, there’s enough of an element of chance in the game that you could win without doing much strategy at all, which is one of the best things about this game.
As other players lay tiles, this changes the game, as players can try to sneak into your cities or roads. There are tons of expansion packs too, which add to the depth of the game. We recently bought the bridges, castles, & bazaars expansion. This allows for roads to be continued over empty fields or even cities. The castles and bazaars aspects on the expansion pack also add to the game. You can choose any of the parts to play. You score points during the game for completing roads, cities, or cloisters. You get points at the end of the game (ends when the last tile has been placed) for partial ones. Farm points are determined at the end of the game.
It's a great game that doesn't take long to learn and is different every time you play.